September 18, 2018 - Netwerk Aalst - Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne: Atlas Unlimited
September 18, 2018

Netwerk Aalst

Builders Gaia Carabillo and Niklas Müller at work in Atlas Unlimited (Acts I-III), Netwerk Aalst. Photo: Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne.

Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne
Atlas Unlimited
September 29–December 16, 2018

Atlas Unlimited (Acts I-III)
Netwerk Aalst
September 29–December 16, 2018

Atlas Unlimited (Act IV)
Precarious Pavilions
December 16, 2018–January 13, 2019

Atlas Unlimited (Acts V-VI)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
February 1–March 17, 2019


With my Hi-8 camera in hand and set to NightShot, we ran through the desert, and up the dune towards the pyramids. From the top, we could see that a line of policemen mounted on camels was guarding the perimeter of the plateau. It must have been about 11:50pm and confusion reigned at the gate nearby where tickets were being validated. A mixed crowd of locals and tourists massed around the gate, sensing that some kind of group effort would be the only way to get to the pyramids by midnight. The cops attempted to hold the line but fireworks had begun to explode behind them and the crowd started to push up against the camels. My sister started to scream. The crowd continued to push until the police and their nervous dromedaries finally relented and let us pour through. We ran down the dune and into an other-worldly landscape...
–Excerpt from Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne’s forthcoming novella Leave Me Alone

Since 2011, visual artist Karthik Pandian and choreographer Andros Zins-Browne have been exploring the image of revolution in the wake of the Arab Spring. Narratives of movement—figurative and literal, political and aesthetic, confessional and speculative—have woven their way through a series of interrelated works across moving image, theatre, and dance. Atlas Unlimited, the latest iteration of this ongoing project, combines sculpture and performance, tracing the flows of people, art, and artifacts across geographies and cultures in the past, present, and future. Atlas Unlimited changes and adapts to specific contexts as it moves, unfolding in a succession of “acts” at each location, beginning with Netwerk Aalst, Precarious Pavilions in Antwerp, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago.

Temporary architectures and sculptural fragments depict monuments, tents, border walls and mise-en-scènes from Cairo, Marrakech and Palmyra to Aalst, Myanmar and the US-Mexico border. They seem caught in a constant state of flux as a cast of builders—sculptors, painters, restorers, curators, preparators, performers, and even a carnival crew—inhabit, erect, maintain and dismantle them in the exhibition space. While at work, they also turn to visitors to share stories of displacement, settlement and reconstruction, interweaving personal testimonies with fictionalized accounts.  

Staged in the seams between truth and fiction, sculpture and performance, fragment and whole, Atlas Unlimited enacts the itinerant realities of migration. As Aruna D’Sousa writes in a newly commissioned essay that can be read here, their “parafictional approach makes clear something very true: that a world in which some bodies cannot move is a world of impossible fragmentation, of incomplete narratives, of archaeology, of interrupted memory, of endless repetition of cycles of reconstruction, destruction, and reconstruction again.”

Atlas Unlimited (Acts I-VI) is co-commissioned by Netwerk Aalst (as part of The Unreliable Protagonist programme) and Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago and co-produced by Precarious Pavilions Antwerp and The Great Indoors. It is made possible with support from The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Follow the project on Instagram @atlasunltd #leavemealone

Netwerk Aalst
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